Data collection made simple with Microsoft Forms

by | Feb 4, 2020

Most modern businesses are data-driven, as they rely on the information collected to provide business-enhancing insights.

It’s for this reason that organisations are investing in their data, implementing systems that can capture and store information securely, before transforming it into important insights through analytics programmes.

While many of these systems are complex and can only be introduced with the help of a specialist service provider, there has always been a demand for a lightweight alternative that businesses can use with ease.

Introduced in 2016, Microsoft Forms allows users to create surveys collect responses in real time, before automatically compiling the data into charts for analysis.

Building on the popularity of this tool, Microsoft rolled out Forms Pro last year, which gives users the ability to export the data into a Power BI dashboard amongst other unique features.

What can you achieve?

Using the App, individuals can build a form in minutes without the need for specialist training, while respondents can fill it out on any browser without having to install a separate application.

This gives organisations the power to create surveys that collect customer feedback, measure employee satisfaction and organise team events. The app can also be used to build quizzes responsible for monitoring student knowledge and class progress, or simply for capturing information.

For those businesses looking to gauge the opinions of their audience, there is the option to create simple polls that will collect data with ease.

Forms is deeply integrated with Office 365 apps to provide a seamless experience for basic data collection, with additional tools available for more in-depth analysis.

With Forms or Forms Pro, important data collecting functions are streamlined and automated, allowing businesses to uncover important insights without unnecessary hassle.

Using the App

To find the app, users must first open their Office 365 home page and select Forms – for some, this may require clicking ‘explore all your apps’ to find the option.

Once inside the app, users will be presented with the options to create a new form or quiz, which once selected, will prompt them to input their questions and other important details.

Through the ‘choice’ option, users can add multiple-choice questions with as many answers as they require. All questions can be accompanied by a picture to work as an example, while the ‘required’ setting will help identify which questions are mandatory.

There are also text and rating questions, where respondents are asked to score an answer 1-10 or add more information if needed. Once completed, these forms can be themed and shared by copying the link and pasting it through social media, emails etc.

Once you’ve received the responses you need, the survey ‘responses’ tab will feature a dashboard with analytics of the data submitted. Within minutes you can collect the valuable information you need and use it to improve your business.

Uncover important insights…

If your business already has an Office 365 subscription, then it makes sense to get the most out of your investment and utilise the resources at your disposal, rather than turning to other third-party products like Survey Monkey.

Not only are Forms and Forms Pro intuitive and easy-to-use applications that give businesses the freedom to ask the questions they want, but they allow organisations to store data/responses within UK-hosted Microsoft data centres so the same security policies can be applied.

Once the data has been collected, this information is automatically processed and displayed in your dashboard, allowing you to export important graphs and charts without having to manually create them. Now that the captured data is stored in the Common Data Service (CDS), the results can be visualised using other O365 tools such as Power BI.

If you’d like more information on how to use Forms and Forms Pro, then contact our team for advice.